It was five years ago today that I received my liver transplant. It was the second time I had gone to the hospital for to await transplant. The first time I was a backup candidate in case the person the liver was designated for was not able to receive it. Fortunately he was able to get his chance at life.
It was around 3:30 pm when I was taken back to the operating room to begin my liver transplant. As the nurses shifted me from the gurney to the narrow operating table, the thought that kept going through my mind was “Wow, am I really here now?”.
They strapped my arms to outstretched parts that were at 90 degrees to the table. At one point I remember thinking that it was almost like a cross. They then put these hard plastic boots on my feet and calves.
It was quite surreal as I looked around the room at the massive amount of surgical equipment and number of people that was there. I have to admit that I was a little nervous. After all I hadn’t been in a hospital since I was a young child when I was seven years old for a broken arm.
The nurses asked me how I was doing, I told them that I was fine. Then I asked them a favor, I said “I don’t care what you do to me just please make sure that I don’t feel or remember anything”. I then said a little prayer asking God to keep me in His hands, whether I lived or I died. I praised Him for who He is and all He had done. The last thing I remember was the nurse telling me to count backwards from one hundred. I doubt if I made it past ninety.
I awoke late the next afternoon in the ICU with a breathing tube in my throat. The nurses shortly removed it, without much discomfort. This was a surprise to me because before when I had this it was very painful. They showed me how to clear my throat with a vacuum wand and soon allowed me to have some liquids. The next day they moved me to the recovery floor.
The first really big thing that I noticed different was the next morning as I was waking up I could feel the sun shining through the window and it really warmed me up. This was a huge deal because I had spent the last two years being cold and never being able to get warm.
I recovered pretty quickly and was walking the halls to get my strength back. On the 13th of March I was discharged being deemed fit enough to go home to recuperate.
I remember having tears in my eyes as I rode home in the car. I was looking out the window at all the things going by and thinking that I almost didn’t get a chance to ever see them again. I felt then, and do now as well, so thankful to God for the miracles He has performed in my life.
So March 5th, 2009 was the day that changed everything for me and I look back on it fondly. I give God all of the glory for what He has done and I hope that I can be the person that He wants me to be while I am still here on this earth.